Types of Dental Fillings
For many years, the only options in dental cavity repair were silver or gold fillings. Fortunately, advances in dentistry have led to other, more cosmetically appealing options. The experienced Memphis cosmetic dentists at Southern Dental Implant Center offer a wide range of options in dental filling repair. Here is an overview of the different types of dental fillings available today.
Traditional Metal Fillings:
- Gold: Gold fillings are extremely durable, lasting as long as 15 years. Gold is non-corrosive, which helps with its longevity as a dental filling. Gold can be expensive, however, and will stand out in a white tooth.
- Silver Amalgam: Silver amalgam fillings are almost as durable as gold, but much less expensive. Silver amalgam is the most popular material used in dental fillings despite its poor cosmetic appearance and other downsides. Amalgam fillings have a tendency to turn filled teeth a grayish tint. Teeth with silver fillings are also prone to cracking due the fact that silver amalgam expands and contracts when in contact with hot and cold temperatures.
- Ceramic: Ceramic, or porcelain, fillings are both aesthetically pleasing and durable. Porcelain can be closely matched to the natural color of your tooth for a seamless blend.
- Composite Resin: Composite resin fillings are durable, though they generally don't last as long as traditional metal fillings. Composite resin fillings are a great cosmetic choice because they can be customized in shade.
- Glass Ionomer: Glass Ionomer is another possible option in dental fillings, though it is best for temporary fillings or children's baby teeth. Like composite resin and porcelain, glass ionomer can be colored to match the surrounding teeth. Another benefit is that fluoride can be added to the glass ionomer to help prevent further tooth decay.
Other Options Besides Dental Fillings
When it comes to dental restoration, there are many different treatments to meet every individual's needs. Sometimes dental fillings aren't suitable to repair the damage caused by decay. Here are some other treatments available to restore the health and beauty of your smile.
- Inlays and Onlays: Inlays and onlays are tooth colored treatments used to repair dental cavities and damage on the biting surface of the teeth. Onlays are also known as partial crowns. They are used when the damage is more extensive but not so extensive that a full crown is necessary.
- Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped shells bonded to the front surface of the teeth. Veneers can be used to improve the shape, size, and overall aesthetics of the teeth.
- Porcelain Crowns: Porcelain crowns are used to repair broken, damaged, or weak teeth. Teeth can become weakened by large fillings, leaving them prone to breaking. A dental crown provides protection and restores the appearance of damaged teeth by completely encapsulating the teeth.
- Dental Implants: For our patients in Memphis, dental implants are the favored treatment for tooth replacement. Dental implants are a permanent, secure option for replacing missing teeth. With dental implants, an artificial tooth root is surgically anchored within the jawbone. This anchoring gives dental implants the most natural feel and appearance in tooth replacement.
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